Overwhelming Being A Female Entrepreneur

Overwhelm and female Entrepreneurs - Julia McdaidI wondered “can I write a whole blog about overwhelm? Really?”.
Truth be told I think I can, and then some. It is widespread in the entrepreneur world. And I particularly see it as I work mainly with female entrepreneurs, and for some reason overwhelm seems to plague them more than most.

It is usually the biggest cause of not getting things done. Do you find that? You have so many things to do you don’t know where to start. You are almost certainly in overwhelm, all the tasks become too much, and you can’t see the wood for the trees. So you fiddle about, do a bit here and a bit there, but not really with any focus.

Why does it happen?

Usually the reason you fall into overwhelm is that you are trying to do everything yourself. Sometimes there is just too much to do and other times it just feels that way because you are doing it all. As a woman it is typical that you are trying to do everything and look after everyone and everything.

And that I think is where we fall over. The focus goes, no focus, no planning, just a busy head and a busy desk and not a whole lot of productivity. Or of course you may spend all your time planning, and none actually doing, it can be an avoidance tactic!

And being an entrepreneur its likely you are also an ideas person too, so you are always having new ideas and thinking if new ways to do things or new things to try or people to call or connect with, the list is endless.

Is confidence a factor?

I think sometimes another cause of overwhelm , or at least a contributor is lack of confidence, or lack of belief. Sometimes we know what needs doing but we are scared to do it, or scared of what might happen if we do, so we put it off. And the more we put it off the scarier it becomes, and the more our to do list accumulates, until we get really caught up in the “must do”,” have to”, “need to do” etc.

So what is the answer?

How do you step out of it and move forward more effectively?

Well, I am a great believer in lists, and notebooks. Often the problem is that you have too much going round in your head, so if you can get it all out that lets you think more clearly.

Use “to do” lists for all the things you think of that need doing, and use a notebook to capture all those ideas. Once its written down you know you have a record so you can let it go until you have time to develop it further.
The same with lists, write it all down so it’s out of your head. Then each day sort out the list and the priorities to create a “to do” list for that day with all the most important things.

You can still keep the main list with all the other things as a reminder, and to create lists for the following days.

Look after yourself

And it is important to ensure you are fit and healthy too, make sure you look after number one. If you don’t you will end up exhausted and possibly ill, I have seen it happen and its not fun, so please take this seriously. It’s common for female entrepreneurs especially to leave their health on the back burner, I think it’s our caring instinct.

Little things like taking regular breaks, eating properly – and regularly, and taking daily exercise can all help you to feel calmer and more focused, as well as making you stronger to deal with everything else.

Don’t go it alone

Another way to make your life easier is to identify the things you can outsource and get help. I know this can be hard to do, especially when you are used to doing everything. And also budget is often a constraint here. Its so easy to believe its all cost and so you might as well just do it. But the real cost is to your time, and not having that time to do the more important things. Your role in your business really is one of managing, creating and maybe customer facing. Things that are not your strengths or not fun for you can and should be delegated to someone who can do it for you. This frees up so much time and brain space, which really helps you to do the important stuff.

So in summary, to get out of the overwhelm trap, look after yourself, tighten up your time management and prioritising, learn to say no, delegate things other people can do.

And if you are finding tough and would like some support, or some ideas and guidance, do get in touch with me and lets chat about it.
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